Despite the drought in Maharashtra, the State government diverted water to thermal power plants in scarcity regions, said Greenpeace on Thursday. Releasing data on water diversions from dams, Jai Krishna, a Greenpeace campaigner, said that an analysis of water consumption by coal-fired thermal power plants during the worst drought in 40 years has exposed instances of wrong prioritisation.

Four State-owned power plants — Bhusawal in Jalgaon district, Parli in Beed district, Paras in Akola, and one in Nasik with an installed capacity of 3,680 MW — are in drought-affected districts. While the Parli plant has been shut from February 15 this year, the government had approved in December 2012 a provision of 5,000 million litres of water from the Mudgal barrage in Parbhani, which had reported zero storage in December 2012, said Mr. Krishna.

The Bhusawal and Paras thermal plants used 10,350 million litres from January to March 2013.

Two reservoirs in the region, Jayakwadi and Majalgaon, were nearing dead storage levels. While the Bhusawal plant gets water from Hatnur dam, Paras is supplied water from private barrages on the Mun river.

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